Thursday, October 9

Day 42-Istanbul

I once answered the question "where is your second home" with "Istanbul". Today I felt as if I had spoken truly. Amidst the dramatic sights such as The Grand Palace, The Blue Mosque and The Grand Bazaar, packed with hordes of tourist from all corners of the globe (not so much Amerıca however), I spent the day as one who lived here. A profitable and necessary visit to the bank, laundry dropped off, and even a haircut marked my mornings acheıvements. In the afternoon, after a walk along the seacoast of Marmara, I trammed up a few stops away from the tourist district and enjoyed a beer and my lunch of lentil soup with bread amoung the locals. No trinkets bought, no entrance fees paid, just honest day to day livıng. For some reason that has filled me with great joy, and unexplained, it burst out of me in a trickle of tears as I sat in the square listening to the musical stylings of a blind sınger and her blind old husband playing keyboard (one handed while he smoked and drank tea!). They were watched over and managed by an albino woman who sat patiently in the van as they earned coins from the crowd. This was my sublime moment for the day, marveling at the ingenuity and tenacity of my fellow humans. I shall need some of the same as I leave the city and make my way to more remote country villages. My hope lies in speedy use of my phrasebook and the good humor of those around me.

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